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The Sponsors Alliance

For most of the last 10 years UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) and now the Department for International Trade has changed from a major supporter of UK industry to one that is almost invisible and unsupportive.

During 2012 to 2013 a significant investment in Tradeshow Access Programme support had lead to a huge increase in SMEs starting to export and going in to new markets.

In October 2014 UKTI decided to cut support to the Tradeshow Access Programme (this programme gives grants to new and new to market SME exporters) mid year, breaking agreements arranged a year previously. This caused the cancellation, where possible, to UK groups exhibiting overseas, financial hardship to companies and some ATO's. UK exports will be reduced and trust in UKTI was lost.

In 2016 UKTI delayed the release of support to companies for the Tradeshow Access Programme for the 2016/17 financial year. This reduced the number of events and size, where UK groups were present at overseas exhibitions.
The new Department for International Trade has carried on where UKTI left off, again delaying - even further this time - the announcement of support for 2017/18.

Sponsors Alliance members reprent many sectors accross the UK (see member list) and in turn they help their members to export through overseas market information, UK organised groups at overseas exhibitions, providing advice and mentoring.

We take UK companies to export opportunities through exhibitions, missions, market research and general advice.

If the UK economy is to rebalanced and continue to grow it's exports, the govenment must deliver a consistant and were appropriate, properly funded, stratgery to encourage companies to export.

The Sponsors Alliance believes a funded Tradeshow Access Programme, that compares with our EU competitors, will significantly help SMEs to achieve this.


If you support the Sponsors Alliance position and wish to comment, please email the the Sponsors Alliance using the form below:-

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About Sponsors Alliance

As industry representative bodies, we believe we are best placed to promote our industry sectors and to manage business schemes.

We firmly believe that trade development must be managed nationally and with sector expertise.

Currently there are around 45 members of the Sponsors Alliance. Almost all members are Accredited Trade Organisations (ATO's) / Trade Challenge Partners, who are not-for-profit, national, independent, cross-sectorial and membership based.

Sponsors Alliance members organise and account for approximately two thirds of the TAP programme events and budgets.

The Trade associations and Chambers of Commerce within the Sponsors Alliance represent thousands of companies and hundreds of thousands of employees.

Views on the Sponsors Alliance:

"The Sponsors Alliance is a very effective lobbying organisation which assists UK SME companies to lobby the government and opposition on International Trade. In particular, the Alliance focuses on improving the funding available for overseas exhibitions to enable the UK to promote themselves in overseas markets. We are wholly behind this initiative of like minded trade associations and are pleased to give our support."

Sir Ronald Halstead, President, Engineering Industries Association

"The need to ensure that accurate first hand information gets to the right people in Government and the Opposition is vital if policy is to be meaningful. The close relationship the Sponsors Alliance has with UKTI and other Government departments has made a significant contribution in enabling UK companies to promote themselves in overseas markets. The AEA is an enthusiastic supporters of the Sponsors Alliance."

Roger Lane-Nott, CEO, AEA

The International Trade committee is holding an enquiry into support for exports and investment, following on from the Business, Innovation and Skills Committee's 2016 inquiry into Exports and the role of UKTI.

The Committee is particularly interested in the following:

What progress have International Trade and Investment (ITI, formerly UKTI) and UK Export Finance (UKEF) made on their performance since the Business, Innovation and Skills Committee finished work on its inquiry in 2016?
How has the absorption of UKTI into the new Department for International Trade affected its performance?
Are the Department for International Trade's export and investment services fit for purpose and sufficiently resourced?
In the light of the Secretary of State's admission that 1 trillion export target will not be met, are the Department's export and investment targets transparent, appropriate and achievable? How should the performance of ITI and UKEF be measures?
What standard of advice do ITI and its International Trade Advisers provide?
What standard of support does UK Export Finance provide to companies seeking to export?

The Sponsors Alliance continues to battle for a nationally run and properly supported export support scheme that includes an export trade fair scheme.

While our European and International competitors benefit from support far in excess of their British counterparts, we ask, will our government help or hinder exporters.

The Sponsors Alliance 2015 manifesto - Driving UK exports



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